Pearly-Thinaah to take different approach after Asiad setback

HANGZHOU: Better competition planning and training programme is what Pearly Tan and M.Thinaah need to raise their game.

Prior to the start of the Hangzhou Asian Games, the women's pair were predicted to win a medal, but yesterday, the world No. 9 fell in the quarter-finals.

Despite holding advantage after winning the first game, the 2022 French Open champions ran out of gas in the next two, losing 15-21, 21-11, 21-7 to world No. 2 Baek Ha Na-Lee So Hee of South Korea.

The Malaysian pair admitted that they were not patient, and ran out of gas towards the end.

National women's doubles coach, Hoon Thien How said Pearly-Thinaah's tight schedule had led to their Asian Games setback.

Because of injuries, Pearly-Thinaah were also forced to skip several tournaments, which have affected their Olympic ranking points.

"I won't say that Pearly-Thinaah were poor. I also don't want to make any excuses for their defeat in the quarter-finals," he said.

"Moving forward, we will plan their tournaments more carefully and beef up their training programme."

Thien How, however, said the gap between Pearly-Thinaah and the other top pairs is not too big.

He will now focus on strengthening their endurance. "Before this, it was back-to-back tournaments, and in between, we had about a week or two to train. That can take a toll on anybody.

"Pearly-Thinaah had no choice because they needed the Olympic ranking points.

"What we need is proper tournament planning and quality training. Only then will they be able to catch up with the best.

"Tentatively, Pearly-Thinaah have secured their spot in the Paris Olympics. This means we can now plan our tournaments better and focus on improving their ability with solid training," added Thien How.

It remains to be seen if Pearly-Thinaah will compete in the Artic Open in Finland next week, or take a break to nurse a minor back injury sustained by Pearly.

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